Home at Last (writing prompt challenge)

Abigail ambled into the foyer of her newly purchased home, breathing in the welcoming smell of the ocean that floated into the house from the open windows. This was her first official move on her own since Liam died seven years prior. Melancholy washed over her, the bittersweet freedom of starting over.

She wasn’t without baggage; yet there was something oddly comforting in the way the thin, linen curtains gently moved with the breeze as if dancing the sacred dance of the tides, and the subtle language of the waves as they dispersed on the shore.

The house on the beach had a whimsical and hopeful feeling to it. This neighborhood was nothing like her old one in the desert; the place she ran to heal after her soulmate’s passing. Abigail labored under severe living conditions and harsh emotional struggles. She wrestled the demons of grief so often that she came to associate her memories of Liam with feelings of despair. Oftentimes she wondered if she was losing her mind, for her mother’s overbearing idea of nurture made it nigh impossible for her to truly mend those gaping wounds of loss.

It wasn’t until her father invited her to visit several months back that her luck began to change. Abigail was never one to force things; she liked to go with the flow because she believed it made life all the more magical. During her stay, a peculiar thing occurred: he told her that he was moving to Japan and wanted to sell his treasured home to his daughter.

Shocked, Abigail stammered that she would love to, but she couldn’t afford it. She had recently paid off her debts and was putting as much into savings as she could, but the unforgiving desert town wasn’t the best for abundance and she found herself lacking whenever she wasn’t thrifty.

“Okay,” her father replied, a wide smirk on his face. “Make me an offer I can’t refuse,” he guffawed, performing his finest mobster impersonation and failing miserably.

Abigail chuckled along with him as she jokingly said, “How about one dollar?” Her face turned beet red with embarrassment, for she wasn’t one to be so bold, and she certainly didn’t want to insult her father in jest.

But, he wasn’t offended. Instead, his eyes lit up and he held out his hand for her to shake it. “Deal,” he intoned cheerfully as they sealed the agreement.

The memory made her smile. She suspected that her father planned on giving her the house all along, but he did it that way so she could save her fragile ego. If only Liam were here to see this, she thought to herself. Sighing, she picked up boxes of Liam’s worn books and faded photos, carrying them upstairs to the attic.

It was a quaint attic, as far as attics were concerned. Its high-beamed ceilings and white walls brightened a normally dismal room. Daylight beamed through the small, circular window that the overlooked the ocean causing the dust bunnies to flutter in the air like little snowflakes.

Remnants of her dad’s life lived up here, and a strange wooden box labeled Stuff that Time Forgot was among them. It was filled with glass balls of all colors and varying sizes. Some of them looked like they had tiny, playful creatures made of light performing acrobatic moves; while others swirled colors of different hues, like smoke twirling on a rainbow. Abigail plucked one of them from within the box and watched, mesmerized by its hypnotic waltz.

“This is quite…fascinating,” Abigail commented aloud to the room. She was answered by a raspy “meow” as Katie rubbed up against her leg, her big yellow eyes fixated on the box.

Startled, Abigail dropped the glass ball that she was holding in her hands, letting out a few choice curses as it fell and shattered at her feet. The space in front of Abigail instantly filled with dense vapor, obscuring her vision completely. It quickly spread throughout the entire room.

Katie jumped, climbing up Abigail’s leg, her sharp claws piercing through Abigail’s soft, cotton capris. Too spellbound to care, she held Katie close to her chest with one arm, quietly humming her favorite tune to calm the old feline.

Abigail took a deep breath as she attempted to stay calm and remain logical. How could one little glass ball make this much fog? She stepped prudently in the direction of the exit. As she did, the fragments of the glass crunched melodiously beneath her feet. With confidence building, and Katie beginning to purr, she took another small step along the same path, bypassing the remaining pieces of broken glass.

A like that, the miasma lifted; a magician removing the veil between the worlds in one swift motion.

She was transported to a scene from her dreams. She visualized this fantasy so often that she knew she must’ve fallen asleep. So, she pinched herself just in case. Nope, she was completely lucid!

Verdant, massive oak trees encircled her in a grove filled with wildflowers, the gentle glow of fireflies lighting up the night. The moon hung luminously pregnant overhead. In the middle of the thicket sat a silhouette clad in forest green robes, a hood cast down so as to obscure his face. So many times in her vision Abigail would nearly reach the figure, outstretching her hand to lift the hood, only to wake up drenched in sweat.

But not tonight. Tonight, she held her chin high and her cat snugly. She strode confidently over to the dark form, determined. Before she could reach her destination, the mysterious figure pulled back his hood dramatically.

Abigail halted, stunned.

Liam sat grinning widely. He hadn’t aged a day; his hazel eyes twinkled cheerily. He extended his hand to her as he said, “I’ve been waiting a long time for you. I’m delighted you made it.”

Tears of elation and relief brimmed from Abigail’s azure eyes as she reached out to take his corporeal hand. A dream made manifest. She was home, at last.

If Hope Exists, Maybe This Is It

And now I see,

now I know,

so I can use my wisdom

to wipe away the tears

and move forward toward my dreams,

Even if it’s alone.

And if my heart can only be fulfilled

by my own self-love, Then that is the burden I must carry this life.

then that is the burden I must carry this life.

And as much as a genuine connection with another soul would make me truly happy,

maybe it just is not meant to be.

Because it’s always unrequited,

never reciprocated,

and I’m left giving –

and when I give I do it freely and joyfully-

but then I come home and my cup is empty,

my mouth is parched and my feet ache,

and my hands just out of reach of what I long for.

I am left cold and alone to start over once again,

repeating the cycle that I cannot seem to break.

But there is hope,

and a light that sings softly from my heart.

And it shines, but not everyone can feel it’s warmth nor see the radiance,

yet every day I hope that someone will recognize me for who I am,

and see my power,

my light and my beauty

and know this vessel is just what my soul is housed in.

It does its job in this life,

but it is not who I am.

Out of Place (an excerpt)

It had been about fifteen years since I had been to this city. As I was driving down the highway, desperately searching for my exit, I felt the traffic wash over me, like a wave washing over a stone. “Breathe,” I reminded myself, as I accelerated a bit more, hoping that the feeling of being boxed in would dissipate. It did not. Luckily, my exit fast approached, but my triumph was short lived. I had no idea where I was going. My Garmin announced where to go and what direction to turn, but I ended up driving my little green Mazda in circles.

Frustrated, I dialed my friend. “I have no idea where I am, or where to find you,” I blurted into the phone the minute he answered. He was able to guide me on where to pick him up. As I pulled up to the curb, he was waiting there in his geeky t-shirt and fedora. He put his stuff in my backseat and hopped in.

“Hi!” he smiled, hugging me awkwardly across my bucket seats.

“Hello,” I hugged back. “Have I ever told you how much I hate this city?” I half-heartedly laughed.

We made it to his hotel for him to check in. It seemed more like an old dorm than a hotel, but since he was only staying one night, it didn’t matter. It smelled of bug spray and fresh paint. That, coupled with the heat, made me long for the comfort of my own place.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry,” he said. “Let’s go eat. We can walk somewhere so you don’t have to drive on these crazy streets.”

I nodded, and we ventured down the rickety elevator to the main street. There were so many people walking about. The gum-stained, trash-littered sidewalk felt like some kind of side-scroller video game I had to conquer as we made our way to the destination.

I wondered if I looked like a tourist, I certainly felt phony. Like any minute someone would point accusingly at me and proclaim, “FAKE!”, thus outing me as a non-local forever. I didn’t look like I authentically belonged in this place. There was a rawness to it, like a scraped knee when you fell off your bike and onto the asphalt as a kid. You wanted to wipe the dirt off the wound, but it hurt too much to do so. Yeah, it was kind of like that.

Writer’s Block

I sit and I stare hypnotically at the blinking black vertical line, its contrast against the white background taunting me, laughing at my lack of words and substance. I’ve been hearing them in my dreams, illustrating what needs to be written, yet when I sit to write, that damn blinking line challenges my resolve, and the Doubt Monster swoops in to stake his claim. It’s like he’s eating all of my ideas, swallowing my words in the Abyss of Where-Ideas-Go-To-Die.

Why can’t they just exit my brain easily, like some kind of river effortlessly flowing downstream? Shit, I’d take a stampede of ideas pounding at the edges of my mind, knocking down the door to get out instead of the desolate emptiness that sits and mocks me.

I won’t pretend I am not bothered by this feeling. Yet, all I can do is try again on the morrow. For now, sleep beckons me. I will throw myself into the sweet oblivion of The Sandman’s embrace for hopes the words will find their way home.

Ephemeral Apologies and Ghost Love

I loved you in the best way possible…” Words from one of my favorite songs echoes loudly in my car as the tears slide effortlessly down my face. I shouldn’t be crying while I’m driving, it’s dangerous and people may think I’m nuts. Well, who really cares about what other people think? This girl’s got a broken heart and she needs to let the music lead her to place of healing. Granted, I wasn’t sobbing or anything like that. It was just one of those silent cries. You know the kind I’m talking about: where the tears flow by themselves, springing from some deep well of tears from someplace secret inside of you. It was like that. Like it was cleaning my soul. A rain shower for my heart.

It’s really quite silly, when you think about it. Silly, because I only really loved the idea of him. Not the person, not really. I didn’t ever really know him in this lifetime. I knew him in another life, somewhere distant and disconnected to the person I am today, yet still with the echo of that intense karmic connection.

So, why am I crying to a song as I’m driving to meet my best friend for lunch? Because, at that moment, I somehow knew it would never really be. It was all just an illusion I created to distract myself from what I needed to do. But that jeweled dagger in my back still hurts. It pierced my heart and the wound is still bleeding. Betrayal is never fun, no matter the flavor.

The thing that brings me the most sorrow is knowing that regardless of what I did to be that person that was all goodness, all acceptance, all patience; none of that really mattered. None of that could overcome the pull and hypnosis that he was swimming in. 1,000 miles away and absolutely powerless to do anything about it. I saw him shrug as the ephemeral entities dragged him away in the other direction, away from me. He looked tired and resigned as he mouthed the words, “I’m sorry”, finally dissipating into the same ghost-like substance as those that took him, disappearing from my mind’s eye forever.

He asked me, in that vision, not to give up on him. He told me he’d be back, somehow, someday. This life, or another. I shook my head and I did the only thing I knew how to do, the only thing I knew that would help me: I let go. How can I wait for him, after waiting so long already? The not knowing, the worry, as he allows darkness to influence his decision, possibly ending back up where he just came from. I will not passively watch another person I love utterly destroy themselves, repeating the same old cycle they’ve been reliving their entire adult lives, while I sit here powerless to help. I’ve seen it once too often, it’s an unpleasant mirror to look into, and if I break the glass I shall cut myself on the pieces.

I’ve been doing this too many lifetimes. No more, dammit. It’s time for the contracts to be burned in the ceremonial fire. This time I’m cutting the cord and breaking the cycle.

Goodbye, my Prince. I wish you’d see things more clearly and would choose me this lifetime. But since you didn’t, all I can do is honor your decision. I can’t wait another lifetime for you to come around.

Barefoot,
she precariously balances upon the precipice of Faith,
the black earth smeared across her limbs,
she takes a step closer to the Light of the Sun.

She sways in ecstasy, momentarily losing her footing,
the breath remaining steady, even.
She knows this is just the natural progression of things.
Slowly, she turns her head to the west,
the calm ocean breeze caressing her soiled face,
a lover’s touch she’s yet to feel.

She stumbles upon her flowing, white peplos,
a Goddess falling from grace,
her tattered garment smeared with dirt.
She plummets,
tethered, entangled,
earthbound.

Her hands reach out with longing,
but she grasps nothing but air.
She silently chants his name,
invoking his magnificence in her sphere of existence.

He heeds her call,
hovering above her,
enveloping her in silent melancholy,
his heart of fire, providing her solace.

She prays for his benevolence,
he is her redemption, her salvation -  
for she cannot bear more suffering
at the mercy of the Fool.